Umara Mystic Art by Bryan Sola

Alchemy Izzet Wizards Complete Deck Guide: Beating Esper Since Day One

Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate is here, and with it, DoggertQBones has another complete deck guide! Find out why Izzet Wizards is able to tackle the Esper menace, what the Bo1 version would look like, and why it may have the most powerful budget version around!

Hello everyone!

Today I’m back with another complete deck guide (for those who don’t know the term, it means Bo3, Bo1, and Budget) with a deck that’s quickly becoming one of my recent favorites: Izzet Wizards! Since the Alchemy Rebalancing and subsequent Baldur’s Gate release, there’s been a lot of new strategies being put through the wringer to see what’s going to come out on top. However, and maybe this experience is localized, it seems that even day one that the “best” deck has already been found: Esper Midrange.

I’ve been facing an insane amount of Esper, all nearly identical decklists, and the deck is clearly obscenely powerful. It’s so powerful that it seems that many players have given up on other strategies already as why play those when you can just play Esper?

Esper is definitely a great deck, but what if I told you that I had a deck that’s consistently beating Esper? The games are close and you have to be mindful of how you navigate the games, but to actually have a good Esper matchup seems extremely important right now. Obviously if you read the title, you know the deck I’m talking about.

(A) Izzet Wizards
by DoggertQBones
Alchemy
best of 3
0 mythic
21 rare
23 uncommon
16 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (17)
4
A-Symmetry Sage
$0.00
4
A-Umara Mystic
$0.00
Instants (13)
2
Spell Pierce
$0.50
4
Consider
$11.96
4
Play with Fire
$7.96
Sorceries (11)
3
Roil Eruption
$0.75
Lands (19)
7
Island
$1.75
2
Mountain
$0.50
60 Cards
$177.45
15 Cards
$69.46

Since the Alchemy rebalancing, Izzet Wizards has been extremely powerful for me. The changes really abetted what we already had access to and really complete the package. While I won’t break down every card in the deck, I want to go over the most important facets.

This deck, at it’s heart, is an aggressive deck, and an aggressive deck is only as good as its creatures. While not rebalanced this patch, A-Symmetry Sage has been a powerhouse in Historic as it can quickly stack up damage by either being a 3 power Flier itself, or buffing your other creatures.

The only non-Alchemy card of the bunch, Magmatic Channeler is excellent at providing filtering early and late while also being a massive 4/4 body a majority of the time.

Finally, the recently changed A-Umara Mystic has been unbelievable for me. The turn you play it you may only hit for 1, maybe 3, but if you get to untap with it you can go absolutely nuts. It’s not uncommon for me to win almost single-handedly off of A-Umara Mystic as it can just deal a ridiculous amount of damage. While this may seem that it having Haste didn’t impact the card heavily, a lot of my games go very late and being able to hold a lot of spells, and when their shields are down, deploy Mystic and kill them out of nowhere is very powerful.

These threats have been very important to the deck, but completely pale in comparison to the cards that make this deck as strong as it is.

This deck is supposed to be an aggressive deck, and it definitely functions as one in certain games. However, this deck also has an incredible ability to grind into the late game, mostly off the back of these two cards.

Not much more has to be said about Expressive Iteration. Everyone who has played with or against it knows that the card is bananas as it offers excellent card selection at a cheap rate. However, what if I told you that we have an even better card now?

I thought it during preview season and playing it only reinforced my beliefs, A-Mentor's Guidance is absolutely busted. You do need a Wizard out to make it a strong card (or a bunch of other card types, definitely will have to experiment with the others at some point), but the result is an even better Expressive Iteration. While Iteration is a “draw 2” most of the time, there will be situations where you don’t want to play any of the cards you get, or worse yet, when you can’t play any of the cards you get. Guidance completely subverts that issue by putting them into your hand on top of letting you see more total cards if you’re digging for specific pieces. Furthermore, since this list plays 17 Wizards, I have yet to have a scenario where I needed to play this and didn’t have a creature out. You ever get to play a A-Symmetry Sage into a A-Mentor's Guidance? It’s pretty disgusting.

Those were all the key cards, but the deck works as everything is cheap, efficient, and in tandem with each other. Being able to have mostly cheap spells is already a boon for any deck, but having those spells convert into even more value as every single threat in our deck synergizes with them is icing on the cake. This deck can win fast games, and if it needs to grind into the late game, it can do that just as easily which is a very rare ability for a deck to have. I’m not sure if this is the best deck in Alchemy, but I would be confident to say that it’s definitely up there.


Best of One

(A) Bo1 Izzet Wizards
by DoggertQBones
Alchemy
best of 1
0 mythic
22 rare
23 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (16)
4
A-Symmetry Sage
$0.00
4
A-Umara Mystic
$0.00
Instants (11)
4
Consider
$11.96
4
Play with Fire
$9.16
Sorceries (14)
2
Roil Eruption
$0.50
4
Molten Impact
$0.00
Lands (19)
7
Island
$1.75
2
Mountain
$0.50
60 Cards
$177.9

For Best of One, the list mainly remains the same but we add in four Molten Impact to the main deck. Since there’s a much higher chance of facing aggressive decks, having the ability to 2 for 1 opponents with your removal is too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Even if you aren’t facing an aggressive deck, Impact is still good at eliminating planeswalkers or key creatures like Diviner of Fates or Hinata, Dawn-Crowned so it’s going to be extremely rare that you are left without a target. Considering how good it is, there is an argument to just play it main deck in Best of Three as well, and depending on how the metagame shapes up, I may eventually do just that.


Budget

(A) Budget Izzet Wizards
by DoggertQBones
Alchemy
best of 1
0 mythic
0 rare
33 uncommon
27 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (16)
4
A-Symmetry Sage
$0.00
4
Flame Channeler
$1.00
4
A-Umara Mystic
$0.00
Instants (13)
4
Consider
$11.96
4
Play with Fire
$7.96
Sorceries (12)
4
Roil Eruption
$1.00
Lands (19)
10
Island
$2.50
5
Mountain
$1.25
60 Cards
$55.84

It’s not often that we can make a viable Budget version of a strong deck, and it’s even rarer when you barely lose any of the power of the deck! Between the five cards I pointed out as key cards, only the Magmatic Channeler is a Rare and what I believe to be the weakest of those five cards as well.

The real hit here is your mana base is a good deal slower, but if you have the dual lands and nothing else, this deck is going to perform very similarly to how the regular version plays. Talk about value!


Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Master of Winds Art by Yigit Koroglu
Master of Winds Art by Yigit Koroglu

Esper Midrange

INOUT
+2 Make Disappear-3 Frenzied Geistblaster
+4 Molten Impact-4 Play with Fire
+4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker-3 Roil Eruption

Break out your Snuggie because this is going to be a long match. I have yet to play a match against this that wasn’t around 40 minutes as setting up your win can take so much time. While Esper is really good at grinding, they do struggle in the face of our excellent card selection, so that that end, I’ve been winning pretty much every match I’ve had against them.

We have to slow way down and just look to play the value game where we look to cast as many of our card advantage cards as possible (Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Expressive Iteration, A-Mentor's Guidance) while trying to deny them their card resource engines (Diviner of Fates, Tasha, Unholy Archmage, Herald of Vengeance).

You have to play around Herald of Vengeance extremely carefully as that card can easily win the game by itself. However, if you can keep their card advantage pieces off the board, you should eventually win.

Rakdos Midrange

INOUT
+1 Rahilda, Wanted Cutthroat-3 Frenzied Geistblaster
+1 Spell Pierce-1 Spikefield Hazard
+2 Make Disappear-4 Play with Fire
+4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

Similar to Esper, this matchup is going to be a grind. They’re going to have a bit more removal, however their threats are not nearly as scary as Esper’s.

Slow down and play the value game, but be more careful when they are getting to 4 or 5 mana as Citystalker Connoisseur is a bit of a pain, but you definitely don’t want them to resolve an Invoke Despair if you can help it.

Mono Green Aggro

INOUT
+1 Strangle-2 Spell Pierce
+4 Molten Impact-3 Consider

This matchup seems simple, but can be a bit complicated as you’re either trying to race or looking to control the board. Depending on your hand, this plan can be one or the other, and likely even switch throughout the course of the game.

We have a decent amount of removal and solid blockers so the control route is definitely tenable, but if you have a A-Symmetry Sage and A-Umara Mystic, racing could be your best bet. Either way, don’t be too durdly and take too much damage as it may be hard to recover if your life total is too low.

Grixis Control

INOUT
+1 Rahilda, Wanted Cutthroat-3 Frenzied Geistblaster
+1 Spell Pierce-1 Spikefield Hazard
+2 Disdainful Stroke-4 Play with Fire
+2 Make Disappear-2 Roil Eruption
+4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

While you’re going to play this like your other slow matchups, this is likely to be the toughest of them all as they have a lot of tools to take out your threats and card advantage. There is no real secret to this beyond you need to try to leverage the cards that will gain you value as much as you can while interacting with their relevant pieces.

You want to play somewhat conservatively, but since they likely don’t have board wipes, you don’t need to hold back too much either.

Jeskai Hinata

INOUT
+1 Rahilda, Wanted Cutthroat-3 Frenzied Geistblaster
+1 Spell Pierce-1 Spikefield Hazard
+2 Disdainful Stroke-4 Play with Fire
+2 Make Disappear-3 Roil Eruption
+4 Molten Impact-3 Consider
+4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

Sideboarding in 14 cards? Now that’s what I’m talking about! Hinata is a weird matchup as you don’t want to go to fast nor take too much time as both ways could let them combo you. Finding the middle ground of applying enough pressure to force them to take action but not so much that you lower your shields is a really hard balance to strike.

I’m more in the camp of make them have it, especially if your hand is weaker, as giving them time to set up makes it so much harder to stop, especially if they have counter magic themselves.


Tips and Tricks

Symmetry Sage Art by Jehan Choo
Symmetry Sage Art by Jehan Choo
  • Remember that Symmetry Sage changes the base power of a creature to 3, not add on top of that. However, this works favorably with every creature in the deck (besides A-Master of Winds) so it’s not something to be concerned with.
  • A common line I do when I’m defending is holding back a Magmatic Channeler with 3 instants/sorceries in the yard. Even if I can’t get an additional one in the graveyard, most opponents will be really cautious to attack into it which makes it an effective bluff. If they call your bluff, you could always block and then discard an instant/sorcery to Channeler’s ability if you really want to kill their creature.
  • It’s easy to forget, but Umara Mystic triggers off of Wizards as well, not just spells.
  • I mentioned this before, but A-Master of Winds can’t retain the Symmetry Sage buff if it swaps its power and toughness since it’s a replacement effect rather than a stat switch.
  • You’re going to play Spikefield Hazard as a land most of the time, that’s what it’s mostly there for, but it’s good for a prowess trigger when going for the kill.
  • In general I try to hold my spells until I have a big board presence as the more creatures you have out, the more effective your spells will be. There will obviously be exceptions, but if you’re debating between deploying a threat and casting a spell, you generally should go with the threat.

Thank you for reading!

Card Kingdom - Double Masters 2022
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DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
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